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The Darker Face of the Earth: A Play Summary
Rita Dove

Everything you need to understand or teach The Darker Face of the Earth by Rita Dove.

  • The Darker Face of the Earth: A Play Summary & Study Guide

The Darker Face of the Earth: A Play Summary

Plot Summary

The Darker Face of the Earth is a play by Rita Dove, which consists of an American antebellum retelling of the Greek tragedy Oedipus.

The play begins with the birth of a baby to Amalia, the nineteen year-old wife of plantation owner Louis giving birth to a baby boy. But Louis is not the father of the baby - it is Hector, a slave. Louis is enraged, but the attending physician encourages Louis not to kill the child. Instead, the doctor takes the baby away with him to Charleston to be raised by another family, and sold when ready. The doctor spreads the rumor among the slaves that the baby has died instead of letting them know the baby has actually survived.

The loss of her baby sends Amalia into a twenty year period of cruelty and intolerance toward her slaves. She hires a harsh overseer whom she...

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The The Darker Face of the Earth: A Play Study Pack contains:

The Darker Face of the Earth Study Guide

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